The Ministry of Finance has warned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government on foreign travels, trainings and other concerns related to overhead expenditure.
The warnings are contained in its budget call to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), issued on Monday.
Details showed that the MDAs were enjoined to restrict their travels, training and capacity development programmes to locations within the country and as close to their office locations as possible.
“Foreign travels and training should be limited to exceptional cases, and with necessary approvals in accordance with extant government policy,” the circular, signed by finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, said.
On board meetings, travels, sitting allowances, honorarium, the call noted that an OSGF’s Circular stipulates measures which all committees and boards should comply with.
“More specifically, hosting of board meetings outside the country, payment of sitting allowances, the number of such meetings, etc., must comply with the provisions of the Circular and also be subjected to the reasonableness test,” the budget call stated.
MDAs were also told to desist from the practice of specifying the models and brands of assets they propose to acquire in the budget.
“As much as possible, generic specification of items should be made in accordance with the Public Procurement Act. Here again, the BOF will intervene to effect necessary amendments.”
On issues of rents and utility payments, the MDAS were enjoined to make adequate provisions for payment of their office rents and utility bills, including any arrears.
“Requests for funds to meet such payments outside of the MDAs’ budgetary provisions will not be entertained,” the budget call noted.
“It has been observed that many MDAs have committed to astronomical amounts of rent payable on their office properties. Such MDAs are enjoined to seek renegotiation of their rent amounts in line with prevailing market rates or relocate to alternative properties.
“MDAs that persist in defaulting on rent and utility payments may be subjected to upfront deduction of their budgetary provisions for these items by the FMBNP, and direct remittances to the service providers.”
Details of the 2021 budget showed that the aggregate expenditure is made up of Statutory Transfers of N481.41 billion, Debt Service of N3.124 trillion, Sinking Fund of N220 billion, Recurrent (non-debt) expenditure of N5.746 trillion and Capital expenditure (exclusive of capital in Statutory Transfers) of N3.086 trillion.
Of the capital expenditure, the budget call circular showed, MDAs Capital is N1.485 trillion.